12-13-2019  2:07 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Louisiana State University President Heading to Oregon Job

F. King Alexander will succeed Ed Ray, who is retiring from the position at Oregon State University at the end of June after 17 years as president. Ray will continue in a teaching role at the university

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

Organization empowers youth facing the greatest obstacles through the long-term support of professional mentors ...

Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

Max, a two-year-old Labrador/Weimaraner mix, is going to a new home with the Dunlap family of Damascus ...

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Louisiana State University president heading to Oregon job

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana State University is looking for a new system chief, after President F. King Alexander was appointed Friday to lead Oregon State University.Oregon State's Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to hire Alexander in a special meeting, confirming that Alexander...

As California thins forests to limit fire risk, some resist

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS, Calif. (AP) — Buzzing chainsaws are interrupted by the frequent crash of breaking branches as crews fell towering trees and clear tangled brush in the densely forested Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. Their goal: To protect communities such as Redwood...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Florida officer charged with violating women's civil rights

MIAMI (AP) — A Florida police officer was indicted on federal charges Thursday following allegations that he sexually assaulted several women.A federal grand jury in Miami charged Hialeah police officer Jesus Manuel Menocal Jr., 32, with depriving two women of their civil rights. The FBI...

Belgian carnival removed from UNESCO list over racism row

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A famous Belgian carnival was removed from the U.N.'s cultural heritage list on Friday following complaints that its most recent edition contained blatant displays of anti-Semitism.The Aalst carnival was taken off UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list during a...

Donor pulls jumi.5M grant to UNC-Chapel Hill over 'Silent Sam'

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A New York-based not-for-profit foundation has withdrawn a jumi.5 million grant intended for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in light of a financial deal between leaders of the university system and a Confederate group to preserve a controversial...

ENTERTAINMENT

Greta Gerwig on making 'Little Women' 'at the speed of life'

NEW YORK (AP) — The first movie Greta Gerwig saw in a theater was “Muppets Take Manhattan.” When it was over, her parents momentarily couldn’t find her. She had run to the front of the theater to put her hands on the screen.“I thought I could get into it,”...

'Lemonade' by Beyoncé is named the AP's album of the decade

NEW YORK (AP) — The top 15 albums of the decade by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu:1. Beyoncé, “Lemonade”: At the beginning of this decade, Beyoncé was already the greatest singer of her generation. She won a record six Grammys in a single night, had women...

'Mad Men' actress Christina Hendricks files for divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mad Men” actress Christina Hendricks filed for divorce Friday from her husband of 10 years, actor Geoffrey Arend. Hendricks filed the marriage dissolution documents in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The 44-year-old Hendricks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Blue-collar character actor Danny Aiello has died at age 86

NEW YORK (AP) — Danny Aiello, the blue-collar character actor whose long career playing tough guys included...

‘Rise of Skywalker’ is almost here, but a dark side looms

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Disney bought Lucasfilm for more than billion in 2012, there were lofty...

Boy, 13, arrested in killing of Barnard College freshman

NEW YORK (AP) — A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in the fatal stabbing of a Barnard College student in a...

Ex-PM elected Algeria's new president, to protesters' dismay

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria newly-elected president Abdelmadjid Tebboune vowed after his victory was...

El Salvador court gives hefty sentences in mass gang trial

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — A court in El Salvador has sentenced 373 convicted members of the...

Battle ahead: Scotland party leader vows independence push

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won the majority he needs to push through Brexit, but he...

McMenamins
Emily Jane Fox CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums jumped again this year, but the rate at which they rose slowed to historic lows, according to a new survey Tuesday.

For insured workers, the cost of buying health insurance for a family of four increased 4% to $15,745 in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.

Last year, premiums leaped 9% from the year before.

"These are strikingly low numbers to those of us who have been studying health costs for a long time," said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "A 4% increase in health premiums is good news."

Altman said there are several factors that could have led to the slowdown, including the economy's slow recovery. When people have less money to spend and wages are flat -- as they have been in recent years -- they avoid getting medical care. Compounding the issue is the rise of high-deductible plans and other forms of cost sharing, like co-pays, that cause families to pick up a larger percentage of the bill.

"Health care use and the economy have always been closely tied, and my sense is that the recession and slow recovery are responsible for much of the recent health spending and premium trends," Altman said.

While premiums appear to be improving, health care costs still weighed heavily on families. The report showed that premiums for family coverage outpaced both workers' wages and general inflation. In less than a decade, premiums have increased 97%, roughly three times as fast as wages and inflation.

"It still takes a growing bite out of middle-class workers' wages, which have been flat or falling in real terms," Altman said.

This burden was even harder to shoulder for lower-income families. At companies where at least 35% of workers earn $24,000 or less, employees paid an average of $1,000 more each year than workers at companies where at least 35% of employees earn $55,000 or more, the report found.

And it's not just premiums. Lower-wage employees were also more likely to pay high deductibles. The survey found that 44% of workers at companies with many low-wage employees face an annual deductible of $1,000 or more, compared with 29% of those at companies with many high-wage workers.

"This year's survey suggests that working families at the low end of the wage scale face significant out of pocket costs for coverage," said study lead author Gary Claxton in a statement. "Firms with many lower-wage workers ask employees to pay more out of pocket ... even though the coverage itself tends to be less comprehensive."

Altman said he doesn't expect a return to double-digit increases in premiums anytime soon, especially as provisions from the Affordable Care Act kick in.

Even though much of the health reform law won't go into effect until 2014, the report estimated that the number of young adults covered by employer plans increased to 2.9 million this year from 2.3 million in 2011, as a result of the provision that lets young adults stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.

The 14th annual Kaiser survey was conducted between January and May 2012, and polled 3,326 small and large employers with three or more workers.

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